Posts

October 21, 2014

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1:00 PM | Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of Camouflage
Over the summer, biologists from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco returned from an expedition to the Philippines with some very rare and diminutive guests, a mating pair of pygmy seahorses. The two tiny fish, each shorter than an inch and bright orange, we’re collected as part of a larger study of the […]
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12:39 PM | Random Acts of Bird Watching: Pigeons
From a pigeon that nearly gave her life to save an army […]
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12:04 PM | Beijing Marathon: 'On Your Mark, Get Set, Face Mask!'
By Susan Cosier Marathoners tend to run with a lot of stuff: sneakers, shorts, headbands, wristbands, sports bras, sunglasses, gel packs, wicking socks, water belts, chaffing rubs, and even band-aids on their nipples. But many runners participating in Sunday's Beijing Marathon added air masks to their gear. The air quality was so bad that day that the city’s environment center warned children and the elderly to stay inside and told everyone else to […]

October 20, 2014

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8:07 PM | The Jargonaut: REDD All Over?
By Brian Palmer REDD (n.): A climate change mitigation strategy that involves paying landowners or the governments of developing countries to leave forested land undisturbed. It is an acronym for “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation.” When it comes to fighting climate change, it’s hard to underestimate the importance of saving trees. At the United Nations climate summit last month, an initiative to halt […]
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7:44 PM | Connective Tissue Matters in the Nature of Cities
The TNOC Roundtable for October 2014 focused on green corridors in cities to support nature, and the ‘natural’ ecology that resides in the city.  I am focused on the ecology of the city.  The aim of ecologists and scientists to strengthen … Continue reading →
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5:14 PM | Can your birth season affect your mood later in life?
Researchers from Budapest, Hungary have found a correlation between birth season and moods. (Feelart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)The team is trying to discover if people born at certain times of year may have a greater chance of developing certain types of affective temperaments, which in turn can lead to mood disorders (affective disorders). While these findings may sound like the stuff of pseudoscience and folklore, the work is being presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology […]
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3:32 PM | Is NYC poised to become an energy storage leader?
The recently announced Demand Management Program by ConEd includes significant incentives for both thermal and electricity storage technologies. If the plan moves ahead, the NYC area could be home to... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:43 PM | Bay Area Scientists Artfully Present Their Research in Oakland Exhibit
“Experimental Space” is the latest show at Oakland art gallery Aggregate Space, consisting of images and videos created by scientists in the course of their research.
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1:46 PM | Stored product beetles
For farmer storing harvested food grains these names strike fear into them: Rusty grain beetle, flour mill beetle, flat grain beetle. These beetles can be found feeding on grain and cereal products, but also other dried material of plant origin, as well as packaged and processed goods. They have been recorded in wheat, corn, rice, barley, flour, oilseeds, cassava root, dried fruits and even chilies. Their larvae feed preferentially on the germ of the whole kernels, but sometimes they hollow out […]
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1:00 PM | Drought-Stressed Crops May Be Better For You
Scientists in California's Central Valley are testing the nutrient content of fruits grown with less-than-normal amounts of water. And the findings so far are raising a question: will consumers buy fruits that are just as nutritional, or sometimes higher in antioxidants, if they aren't as pretty?
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12:27 PM | A Drone in Pursuit of Its White (and Black) Whale
By Susan Cosier We’ve seen orcas in lots of ways—from the natural to the not natural at all. But thanks to a drone with a high-rez camera on its belly, we're now getting bird's-eye views of these black-and-white beauties as they go about their business in the wild. (Psst...they don't even know we're there.) Working with Canada’s Vancouver Aquarium, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flew an unmanned hexacopter about 100 […]
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2:30 AM | So how are we going to build these western water markets?
Peter Culp, Robert Glennon and Gary Libecap have published an excellent new analysis of the potential for water markets to help us dig out of the western United States’ water mess: Water trading can facilitate the reallocation of water to meet the demands of changing economies and growing populations. It can play a vital role ...Continue reading ‘So how are we going to build these western water markets?’ »
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1:56 AM | A Passing: Rick Piltz, a Bush-Era Whistleblower
A gutsy Bush-era whistleblower and defender of climate science passes away.

October 19, 2014

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9:47 PM | Oak leaves in fall
Lissa and I caught the tail end of fall colors on a drive in the mountains east of Albuquerque today. I wonder why these oak leaves are waiting until the last minute? Phenology.
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3:10 AM | California water for kids, circa 1961
The Los Angeles area, with its large population, requires a great supply of water. To meet its needs, water is brought in by pipe lines from a long distance. Little moisture falls on the Central Valley in the dry season. During the season of rainfall, water is dammed and stored. It is released through canals ...Continue reading ‘California water for kids, circa 1961’ »
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1:17 AM | Phoenix, Lake Mead and “the anticommons”
Here’s a good example of why fixing the west’s water problems is going to be so difficult. Phoenix wants to do something really simple. It currently has more Colorado River water than it needs, and it would like to just leave its unused apportionment in Lake Mead. This seems like a no-brainer – Phoenix gets ...Continue reading ‘Phoenix, Lake Mead and “the anticommons”’ »

October 18, 2014

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6:45 PM | Top Ten Big Scary Looking Animals
It's almost Halloween, so to get you into the season of freight here are some big and terrifying animals!

October 17, 2014

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7:47 PM | Hey EPA, Get Your Mind in the Gutter
By Brian Palmer How do you turn a hazardous chemical into a nonhazardous chemical? Pour it down the sewer.That little riddle comes courtesy of a peculiar legal loophole that was thrust into the spotlight recently by a report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General. The report said the EPA is allowing thousands of potentially dangerous substances to flow into our sewage systems and out into our lakes and rivers.But […]
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6:11 PM | This Week in EPA Science
By Kacey Fitzpatrick Celebrations in October usually elicit carving pumpkins, eating candy, and dressing up, but did you know that October is also Children’s Heath Month? EPA is celebrating by making this week Children’s Health Action Week. EPA researchers work all year to protect children from environmental threats and promote environmental health wherever they live, […]
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5:53 PM | #25: Return to Roseway Basin
After some time spent in Lubec after our first Roseway Basin voyage, the team prepared to depart for another two week trip offshore. On September 7, we pushed off the dock on Campobello Island and headed across the Bay of Fundy towards Yarmouth, N.S. During this transit we saw (but were unable to photograph) one right whale; we were disappointed but not surprised that we didn't see more, as the
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5:14 PM | Interns Summer in Review, Part 4: So, what do YOU know?
An Explanation of NEON’s Airborne Observation Platform and Cyber Infrastructure through New Eyes After spending time together in NEON’s summer internship program, Ariel Kaluzhny (a computer science student) and Maddy Ball (an environmental science major) learned a lot about their NEON projects, explored a good bit of Colorado and became great friends. But, coming from … Continue reading »
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5:04 PM | On Economic Growth, the Environment and Climate Change
In the early 1970s, leading environmental scientists and writers argued that curtailing economic growth was necessary to save  human civilization from eco-collapse.  The material needs of society were exhausting the planet’s resources. The worrying trends were laid out in a hugely influential 1972 report and best-selling book entitled, “The Limits to Growth.” Its authors concluded (page […]The post On Economic Growth, the Environment and Climate Change […]
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4:35 PM | Playing Action Video Games May Improve Sensorimotor Skills
People who play action video games seem to learn a new sensorimotor skill more quickly than non-gamers do, according to a new study by psychology researchers at the University of Toronto.Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic/freedigitalphotos.netA new sensorimotor skill, such as riding a bike or typing, requires forming a new pattern of coordination between vision and motor movement. With such skills, an individual progresses from novice performance, characterized by a low degree of coordination, […]
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4:22 PM | 3-D printed insect traps
The 3-D printed  insect trap in action (Image credit Joshua Reid Carswell, FDACS)If we want to monitor or reduce populations of insects or other arthropods we need to get our hands on them first. Everyone, that ever worked with insects had to handle an insect trap such as our famous Malaise trap or as simple as a sweep net. Not surprisingly, insect traps vary widely in shape, size, and construction, often reflecting the behavior or the ecology of the target species, and almost equally […]
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3:27 PM | Sage Grouse and Oil Drilling Can Co-Exist, Says New Report
Conservation groups and energy-development companies have been at odds the last few years over an odd, dancing bird called the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). These land-based birds... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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2:00 PM | NASA’s MAVEN Mission Investigates Mars’ Atmosphere
NASA's latest mission to Mars, MAVEN (Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution), entered Martian orbit less than a month ago on September 21. It's already rewarded us with revealing insights into the disappearance of Mars' atmosphere.
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12:18 PM | Pacific Warriors: 'We’re on a Boat! Fightin' Coal!'
By Susan Cosier When your land and culture are at stake, you’ll do anything to fight those putting you and yours at risk. The same goes for 30 Pacific Islanders who earlier today hopped in canoes and paddled into the sea to block coal ships from reaching Australia's Newcastle harbor. The country is the second largest coal exporter, and Newcastle is home to the world's biggest facility for the dirty, black stuff. That doesn't sit well with Australia's […]
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12:00 PM | Seabirds fly toward the light, get run over by cars
You shouldn’t litter. Everybody knows that rule, perhaps thanks to grisly images seabirds with six-pack soda rings around their necks. But not all pollution is made of trash. Birds can suffer from another, far more pervasive, far more subtle form of pollution. Instead of being made of paper and plastic, this form of pollution is
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10:22 AM | The effects of disasters on society
Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog - Making a difference to how we live with hazard and risk. Professor Andrew Collins who leads the Disaster and Development Network at Northumbria University gave an important talk at IHRR on addressing hazard, risk and disaster in society. We share with you some audio highlights from the seminar along with some [...] The post The effects of disasters on society appeared first on Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience Blog.
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7:39 AM | And we're in
Ryan and I have (finally!) moved into our new house! And, whilst we had the use of a van, we collected all of the tall plants from the allotment. So the first refugees from my old garden have arrived in their new home. As well as my Christmas tree, there’s two cobnuts, a crab apple, a golden bamboo, a rosemary and a lavender, the medlar and one that remains unidentified until I can have a good look at it. I also brought back two scented pelargoniums that I uncovered from amongst the […]
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